Bath firms urged to support city’s talented youngsters through LEP’s skills bank

March 28, 2012

An initiative aimed at nurturing the talent and skills of the thousands of young people who graduate from Bath each year has been launched by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The Graduate Talent initiative has been developed by the LEP in partnership with the area’s four universities – Bath Spa University, University of Bath, University of Bristol and University of the West of England.

More than 10,000 young people graduate each year from these universities and employers are being encouraged to grow their businesses through the opportunity this creates.

The initiative was highlighted by LEP chair Colin Skellett at a joint UK Commission for Employment and Skills and BIS event yesterday.

Mr Skellett said: “This initiative is aimed at encouraging businesses to make better use of the amazing resource that we have in our young students and graduates. We have a wealth of talent and world-class research capabilities within our sub-region and we must make sure that this potential is developed so that it can contribute to our economic growth.”

It is hoped that the new initiative will highlight the many benefits that employers can gain from harnessing motivated young people who can either help with short-term projects or develop and grow with the business in a full-time role.

Employers are being urged to consider summer internships, student placements, part-time roles and graduate recruitment opportunities.

Bath Spa University secured a fixed-term design and copywriting internship for graduate Liz Greenfield with Bath-based digital self-publishing company KoodibooK after taking part in a networking event organised by the university.

Liz developed the skills she had learned through her degree, gained confidence of working within a commercial and creative environment and worked, for the first time, as part of a dynamic interdisciplinary team.

The business benefited from an injection of new ideas, Liz’s enthusiasm and willingness to learn, and a mix of skills which complemented those already in the business, gained through a low-risk, well-defined internship.

Liz said: “When I graduated I was amazed that immediately someone was prepared to pay me a real person's salary! I would have settled for less, mainly because I hadn't learned to distinguish my professional qualifications yet, let alone articulate them satisfactorily. Internships are a good way to gain assurance.”

Following the internship, Liz continued working for a further 12 months with KoodibooK and has recently taken up the role of studio manager at Play Nicely, a multi-disciplinary design, technology and creation studio based in Bristol.

Mr Skellett added: “Employing students and graduates is a cost-effective way of bringing fresh ideas and up-to-date learning into our organisations. Many young people have fantastic skills and potential and nurturing this talent is vital to encourage local economic growth and help our businesses prosper.”

Graduate Talent and Summer Internship publications are available for businesses to guide them through the opportunities on offer. For a copy contact  or visit the People and Skills area at


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